Facebook Twitter Pinterest Blogger Post Facebook Messanger

What the heck is gospel?

Josh Kinghorn, 3rd Aug 2021
Tags: Music Blog Black gospel

So there have been a fair few times that I’ve talked about a little something called gospel, and I’ve used that term in different circumstances and situations. For me writing the piece it’s easy to use the term and know what it means because I’m the one writing it, I have the background and know what I’m talking about. 

However, there are gonna be people out there without my knowledge and background reading those things without any clue what I mean when I say it. This is why I’m writing this now, to explain what I’m on about when I use the term ‘Gospel’. 

Gospel music
Image Credit: Giphy

To the best of my knowledge I’ve only used the term in two different situations: talking about a genre and talking about a message. I’ll talk about the message first because the two are kind of linked. 

The story of Jesus.

In the Bible, there are a collection of four books at the beginning of the New Testament (books as in different parts or stories, New Testament as in the second half of it) called Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. These books contain the story of Jesus from his birth to the Easter story to when he rose to heaven.

These books are known as the Gospels and contain the teachings of Jesus, a foundation for the Christian faith. 

the bible

So when I use the term ‘Gospel’ as in gospel message I’m often referring to lyrics that have a basis in the Christian faith and on the teachings of Jesus. 

Religious songs of American origin.

The genre of ‘Gospel’ can be defined like this, “of, relating to, or being religious songs of American origin associated with evangelism and popular devotion and marked by simple melody and harmony and elements of folk songs and blues” (thank you Merriam-Webster dictionary). 

You may have seen me reference Kiera Sheard and Kanye West in association with this in a past article. 

Third party content may contain adverts beyond the control of xRhythms

So Gospel genre will stereotypically feature faith-based lyrics utilising multi-harmony choral accompaniment and heavy use of keys, more often than not. 

Hopefully, that tells you enough to know what I’m talking about when I use the term in my writing. Let me know if you want me to write more of these things by hitting the thumbs up below.

Sign Up For Emails

Sign up for the latest stuff from xRhythms, straight to your inbox.

By clicking 'Sign Up' you are consenting to receive emails from xRhythms. For more information about how we care for your data please see our privacy policy.